The future of e-learning is wide open in terms of innovations in software, hardware, instructional content, and teaching practices. Recent innovations in software have been instrumental in the development of rapid e-learning that allows the creation of podcasts and vodcasts (video podcasts) in 2 to 3 weeks versus 4 to 5 months (Weekes, 2007). Hardware such as PDAs, mobile phones, and pocket PCs provide new avenues in mobile e-learning. Businesses view e-learning as a way to train employees locally and worldwide. Student enrollment in distance education courses in U.S. colleges and universities increased from 2.3 million in 2004 to 3.2 million in 2006 (Allen & Seaman, 2006). It appears that the delivery of instructional content through elearning will continue to be another growth area in the new millennium.
Cbm Guide—E-Learning Entries: Preproduction
Step 3:Ask and answer the Inquiry questions throughout the production process. The answers can be recorded in writing or orally through repeated meetings and discussions. However, some notes of meetings best serves any project.
Step 4: Determine whether the product will be internationalized (generic) or localized (specialized). Although this is a re-engineering of an existing e-learning Web site, the design is generic. The Web site is to be used by students in the different countries with little to no changes. Typically, the localization efforts may consist of changes in language translation, graphics and icons, color, layout, and the formatting of fields and objects (Aykin & Milewski, 2005).
Step 5:Apply CBM Elements to the Web site as needed. Given that the Web site will probably be more generic than specialized, focus on the culture GQ.
Step 6: For the software engineer, software developer or e-learning designers, they must be familiar with the target audience so that their architecture considers culture as specified by the needs of the project. With re-engineering, the software must be re-analyzed to determine whether the product can be made generic or specialized. Software needs to be flexible enough to handle multiple specialized designs (Aykin, 2005). Aykin proposed the following items in creating more specialized or localized software:
One set of course code
A single bug-tracking system
Isolated localizable resources, including dialogs, macro-language, status bars, messages, menus, prompts, toolbars, and sounds
Localizable elements such as time, date, currency, address, names, and so on that are not hard coded and should support different character sets
Buffers large enough to handle translated text in cases where the text expands
Character parsing that is not limited to Latin script
Code clearly marked, showing what must and must not be translated
Content that is presentable in user’s language and character set
User input that can be received in the user’s native language and character set (Aykin, 2005, pp. 14–15).
Every re-engineering situation is different. Therefore, it is difficult to predict the steps that should be taken.
Step 7:Continue to follow CBM ID-TABLET for management and design throughout the production process.
Step 8:Make creative changes to the e-learning Web site.
Re-engineering refers to the process of recoding, restructuring or rebuilding. In this case study, the goal of creating a generic e-learning environment for adult learners who live in diverse parts of the world relies on making minimal considerations for ethnically diverse groups. The focus is more on technical, aesthetic, or content related design specifications. The generic focus allows for the sustainability of the institutional structure and the learner must in turn adapt to the e-learning environment.